Youth across the globe attend Pan-Africanism confab in Winneba

BY: Timothy Gobah
Participants arriving at the Windy Lodge, the venue of the conference, after an excursion to the Elmina Castle
Participants arriving at the Windy Lodge, the venue of the conference, after an excursion to the Elmina Castle

More than 500 representatives of progressive youth groups from Africa and different parts of the world who believe in the continued relevance of the Pan-Africanist struggle once led by Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah have converged on Winneba in the Central Region for the third annual Pan-Africanism conference.

Winneba has been selected to host the conference because the place was used as the political incubator of Pan-Africanism by Dr Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, who established the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute in the area to train Pan-Africanists and anti-imperialist cadres from Africa and other parts of the world.

As a prelude to the opening of the four-day conference, the delegates visited the Elmina Castle yesterday morning to have a feeling of the colonial conquest and slave labour exploitation of Africa.

One of the delegates, Mr Ivan Orosa from Spain, sharing his experience, said: “It was shocking how and in which way human beings were treated by fellow human beings. This was the result of pure greed.”

For him, the Elmina Castle was a story of cruelty, inhumanity and despicable behaviour by the imperialist powers.


He said he was, however, inspired by part of the history of Blacks in South America who rebelled, organised and fought back as the glorious history of resistance.

Socialist Forum of Ghana

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic in Winneba yesterday, the Local Chairman of the Socialist Forum of Ghana (SFG), Mr Kyeretwie Opoku, said the forum had realised that the Pan-Africanism movement had been hijacked by governments, without due cognizance of the involvement of the people.

“This means that Pan-Africanism has been subordinated to the whims and caprices of governments, thereby stagnating the pace of the movement,” he said.

The SFG is one of the organisers of the annual Pan-Africanism conference.

Pan African project

Explaining further, Mr Opoku said the gathering of progressives was a means to revive the Pan-African project, tackle specific problems and develop strategies to unite and defeat imperialism on the continent.

“We are here also because the movement wants to celebrate Dr Nkrumah for his role in the Pan-African struggle. So we chose the day to coincide with his birthday, which falls on Friday, September 21,” he said.

Commenting on the programme lined up for the celebration of the birthday of Dr Nkrumah, which is also observed as a national holiday, the Local Chairman said the SFG would hold a national rally at the University of Education, Winneba and in Winneba town itself.

He said gender activists, trade unions, youth groups and rural and urban commissions would hold deliberations on critical issues concerning the movement, after which a communique would be issued.

Honour

Mr Opoku also said heroes of the struggle to free Africa, including Ghana’s Captan Kojo Tsikata, a former Special Adviser to former President J.J. Rawlings, would be honoured.

He lauded the leadership of the countries that contributed immensely towards the struggle, such as Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Algeria.

“We must admit that most of the earlier generations of the struggle are no more, but the few who are still around will be honoured to show to the modern world that Africa has not, cannot and will not abandon its heroes,” he stressed.